Karen Banks

Gender Female
Region Asia/Pacific
Nationality Australia
Residence United Kingdom
Languages English (fluent)
Nominated by Jeanette Hofmann
Endorsed by Internet Governance Caucus

Nomination statement

Karen would be a very good choice because she enjoys very high credibility not only in the WSIS context but with many online communities around the world. She is also well known in the UN ICT Task Force context. She represents and advances civil liberties points of views and communicates them well. Also, she is very accessable and sticks to principles of fairness, transparency and inclusion. I have no doubt that she would report back to us as frequently as possible. With her, Internet Governance topics are put into a broader context.

Personal statement

The main quality i can bring to the WGIG is the cummulative experience of my 15 years work with the Association For Progressive Communications (APC). APC is an international network of civil society organisations dedicated to empowering and supporting groups and individuals working for peace, human rights, development and protection of the environment, through the strategic use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), including the internet.

This experience includes ISP related technical work and maintenance of a major international fidonet-internet gateway connecting to 50 store and forward hosts in developing countries; 8 years coordinating the APC women's networking support programme developing amongst other things, a pioneering gender and ICT evaluation methodology; and the past 5 years working more generally around Internet policy and rights issues through national level awareness raising and training activities and advocacy at national, regional and international fora such including Beijing, Beijing+5, Beijing+10, WSIS.

APC works with civil society organisations in over 40 countries, primarily through it's strong southern base of members, through it's three international programmes and it's vast network of partners and colleagues internationally. In the past three years, APC has focussed on building Civil Society ICT policy capacity at the national level through delivery of a multi-modular curriculum. This activity has leveraged the opportunity of the WSIS to raise awareness about ICTs and the importance of civil society to be actively involved in shaping national ICT policies.

APC also contributed significantly to the facilitation of civil society participation in the WSIS and also facilitated networking amongst civil society groups working in different areas. I was personally involved in much of the facilitation work of on and offline civil society spaces and relation to the former, provided, on a voluntary basis, maintenance and a light approach to guiding civil society plenary discussion.

In short, i am fortunate to have a rich and long experience of association with many and diverse groups in many parts of the world, working on a broad ICT for development, gender and social justice agenda. I enjoy facilitating cooperation, building networks around common agendas and coordinating activities.

APC is an international NGO. My work in the WSIS involved participation in the information-security working group, the human rights caucus, the NGO gender strategies working group, the WSIS gender caucus, the EU caucus and the community media caucus. I co-coordinated the WSIS CS Content and Themes group with colleagues during some of the preparatory meetings to date.

In addition to the general national ict policy work mentioned above, specific 'internet governance' experience includes representation of APC on the ICANN NCDNHC and now reformed NCUC; co-ordination of APC's work to moblise civil society around the ICANN At Large 'experiment' (2000); '.org' re-delegation; co-facilitator of the UNICT Task Force Working group on Policy (1). My work in these spaces is not as intensive as in the broader ICT4D and women, gender and ICT spaces, but i am often able to bring perspectives from for example, gender advocates, to the NCUC on specific issues, or bring civil liberties issues (the NCUC provided support to a member involved in a Domain Name Dispute Resolution:
). I'm also a member of the UK ISPA and of it's Law Enforcement sub working group and have been active around national legislation including the 'Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act', Terrorism Act, Data Retention and ISP content liability policy.

I am an australian citizen, living in London and speak English.